Malawian MultiChoice Talent Factory graduate awarded with top filmmakers internship

By Duncan Mlanjira

Apart from being awarded with Certificates of Completion, the inaugural graduates of MultiChoice Talent Factory held in Zambia were also rewarded with opportunities including placements and internships with the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) in USA.

Other opportunities going their way include production internship at Indian film industry ‘Bollywood’ with Nihilent Limited; a ‘Nollywood’ production internship on an Africa Magic Series in Lagos, Nigeria; placements on SuperSport productions, an infinite AVID media composer license and AVID Pro Tools license by Jasco Broadcast Solutions.

Malawi had two young filmmakers at the Talent Factory — Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba, 21 and Jonathan Kapumba, 25. Kapumba was awarded with a 3 weeks internship in Bollywood India sponsored by MultiChoice partner, Nihilent Limited.

The participants

A statement from MultiChoice Africa says the graduating students have gone through a rigorous 12-month film training programme, honing and sharpening their various skills within the film and TV industry. 

The graduation ceremony was held at the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) where students received their certificates from the Zambia University accredited training programme.

Quoting MultiChoice Director of Southern Africa Holdings, Nyiko Shiburi, the statement said the 20 students are the first ever graduates of the Talent Factory, which is aimed at supporting and encouraging excellence in filmmaking at the post school education level. 

Gus Banda MultiChoice Malawi MD

Mkwezalamba and Kapumba were with Clarence Nyoni, Muchemwa Sinkala, Emmanuel Mwape, Jones Mvula, Mainala Silondwa, Racheal Mbewe and Joshua Kafumukache from Zambia; Sally Jason, Esther Beukes, Toivo Ashivudhi from Namibia; Serena Serene Mmifinyana, Nikita Mokgware from Botswana; Nobert Mapfoche, Rutendo Mahofa from Zimbabwe; Emanuel Gonçalves, Leandro Lima from Angola; Gerson Amaral and Ludmila Mero from Mozambique. 

MultiChoice Africa fully sponsored the students’ tuition, accommodation and stipend for the 12 months duration of the course.

“The MTF Academy students have been provided with skillsets to develop their talent, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through a comprehensive curriculum comprising theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling,” Shiburi is quoted as saying.

“During the programme, MTF Academy students have produced television and film content that were premiered on the eve of their graduation at Ster-Kinekor, Manda Hill to 200 invited guests. 

“The films will also be aired on M-Net channels across the continent including Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Bongo, Pearl Magic, Zambezi Magic, M-Net and SuperSport to reach African audiences on the DStv and GOtv platforms. 

“The films will also be available on the DStv Now app and on Showmax. The MTF students will leave the Southern Africa MultiChoice Talent Factory with the knowledge and skills to contribute professionally to Africa’s film and television industry.”

The graduation was graced by keynote address was given by Zambia’s Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary, Mabvuto Sakala and is quoted as saying: “From its inception, the MultiChoice Talent Factory has been a place of inspiration not only to the learners graduating today, but to many that have walked into its doors and from different walks of life. 

“This is the place where over 100 other filmmakers have gone through high level Master Classes in cinematography, sound engineering, lighting and design and storytelling to enhance their skills. 

“The local film industry has also been empowered to network with colleagues of like mind from across the continent through the MTF portal that is allowing real-time sharing of ideas for the creatives.”

MultiChoice says over the past 12 months, it has partnered with the governments, local film industry associations and academics and have exposed the students and hundreds of already established film professionals to well-respected subject matter experts including South African director and producer Bobby Heaney.

They were also linked up with reputable sound consultant from Dolby India, Vikram Joglekar, pan-African storytelling and creative consultant Allison Triegaardt, award-winning Kenyan film producer Appie Matere, cinematographer Jonathan Kovel and cinematic lighting technician Christian Lee Epps.

Shiburi further said: “As a company that is deeply rooted in Africa, we understand that many young, aspiring filmmakers have the capacity to learn and strengthen their skillset to give back to their communities but may not be financially equipped to do so. 

“The MultiChoice Talent Factory focuses on making sure that those gems are nurtured, and their talent developed to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s creative industry.”